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Friday, May 12, 2017

An Unexpected Intersection - or - Which Shoulder Should I Listen To?

 Image result for angel and devil shoulder

Two seemingly opposing voices have been dominating my thoughts lately, but this past Sunday they intersected in the most magical way.

I'm a "baby Christian" and by that I mean that I believe in Jesus, that he died for our sins, the Bible is truth, and church is a good thing (but often poorly executed).  I admit that's it, I can't quote verses, and sadly, seeking God isn't always my first reaction.

I'm also a "self-improvement junkie" and by that I mean that I consume content on bettering myself, my work habits and performance, my mind, my fitness, my parenting.  I'm always scrolling and reading and watching for advice to be and do better.  Lately, Gary Vaynerchuk has my attention - he is a positive force on the entrepreneurship stage right now.  He makes mistakes "out loud" meaning that he doesn't read books, or study plans, he takes action - and uses that to learn about what he is good at.

And then to collision came with this statement by Pastor Mike on Sunday:

Doing and serving is how you learn, and how you disciple.  It's not knowledge alone - it's doing.

I'm hearing the same thing - take action instead of studying and working to craft the perfect situation or opportunity - just leap!   Gary V. proclaims strengths over weaknesses and focusing on what you're good at and what you're passionate about - instead of focusing on improving your weakness and remaining stuck or mediocre.  Granted his "theater" is the business world.  Pastor Mike said God wants us to do what we're good at and not criticize ourselves for what we aren't good at - then let other people come along side of you and fill in those gaps.

 So here is where I am stuck... because perfectionism and doubt are my downfalls.   I want to step out and do what I'm being called to do -- yet I have no idea how to hear the Holy Spirit direct me.  Sure, I've got lots of ideas.  How can I know if those ideas come from the devil on my left shoulder or the angel on my right shoulder?

A couple weeks ago Pastor Mike said that God wants us to serve, and go ahead and try things even if we aren't sure.  Then this past Sunday, I heard that we need to be careful to listen to the correct influence (Holy Spirit vs. the world) to know what action to take.  How can I tell the difference between those two voices - Satan and God?  It seems like a ridiculous question, especially when I see it in black and white here.  If it all comes downs to mind games, and confusion... it's difficult to tell.

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